Red Sox notes: Valentine, Doubront, Johnson, Ortiz


Red Sox notes: Valentine, Doubront, Johnson, Ortiz

NEW YORK -- The Red Sox clubhouse has been predictably downcast the last few days, but Bobby Valentine said that, given the team's performance, that's probably as it should be.

"These guys are pros,'' said Valentine. "They're supposed to be down. When you lose, you're not supposed to be happy. I don't want anybody to think it's a good thing. From what I measured (Saturday), it seems like everyone's OK. I don't really take that temperature after every game, though.''

As for his own spirits, Valentine at first joked that he didn't.

"I keep them up,'' he said. "I enjoy what I'm doing. I think it's very challenging and fun.''

David Ortiz told the Boston Herald Friday that the controversies surrounding the Red Sox have had a tangible effect on the performance on some players, including Dustin Pedroia.

"It looks like (Pedroia) is playing the best he's played this year," Valentine said. "Maybe he got to a point where he just shut the whole thing off. It might have been bothering him more than a week ago, but I really think it was (some nagging injuries) that were bothering him.

"He's playing extremely well right now. He's an incredible player,period."

But Valentine did take himself to task, noting: "As far as my job here, I'm not doing a good job. I didn't get paid to do anything other than get to the playoffs, win a lot of games and be in the thick of things right down to the end or even be in first place. The team is managing is not there. Simpe. So my job has not been a good job, if I had to assess (myself).''

Before Saturday's game, the Sox placed pitcher Felix Doubront on the DL, retroactive to August tenth, with a right knee contusion. The Sox filled Doubront's roster spot by promoting Mauro Gomez from Pawtucket.

Doubront was shut down after making a start in Cleveland last week as the Red Sox expressed concern about his workload after
an injury-shortened 2011 season saw him limited to just 87 23 innings.

In the interm, Doubront was bothered by a sore knee as he threw on the side. The Sox believe he's progressed to the point where he could pitch at the end of next week, but in the meantime, the Sox could utilize his roster spot with Gomez, who is with the big league club for the third time this season.

"We'll see how we can use him,'' said Bobby Valentine of Gomez. "It's better than having a short bench. He's a guy who I think gives you really good at-bats when he's up there.''

Valentine added that Gomez, a first baseman by trade, could see some time at DH with David Ortiz still sidelined. He could also use Gomez at third base, with Will Middlebrooks out for the remainder of the season with a broken wrist.

Lowell Spinners lefthander Brian Johnson, a sandwich pick by the Red Sox this June out of the University of Florida, was struck in the face by a line drive while pitching at the Futures of Fenway doubleheader Saturday.

According to the Red Sox, Johnson suffered "multiple orbital'' fractures on the side of his face. He showed no evidence of suffering a concussion and was resting in a hospital.

David Ortiz, who was set to take batting practice Friday only to change those plans, hit in the cage Saturday before the game.

"He just did soft toss (Friday) in the cage,'' said Valentine, "and he felt fine. It seems that the progression (Saturday) would be BP.''

NLCS: Cubs tie series with 10-2 romp over Dodgers


NLCS: Cubs tie series with 10-2 romp over Dodgers

LOS ANGELES - After striking out in his first two at-bats, Anthony Rizzo was seeking a slump buster. He found one in teammate Matt Szczur's bat.

Using the borrowed lumber, Rizzo homered and ended a postseason skid with three RBIs. The rest of the Chicago Cubs' hitters broke out equally as big in routing the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-2 on Wednesday to even the N.L. Championship Series at 2-all.

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ALCS: Indians eliminate Blue Jays, head to World Series


ALCS: Indians eliminate Blue Jays, head to World Series

TORONTO - A most unlikely pitching performance helped put a most unexpected team into the World Series.

Cleveland rookie Ryan Merritt came out of nowhere and coolly delivered a lead to the Andrew Miller-led bullpen, and the Indians won their first pennant since 1997 by blanking Toronto 3-0 Wednesday in Game 5 of the AL Championship Series.

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